VERONA, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania couple has been jailed in the death of a disabled man who weighed just 76 pounds when he died in bed at their home last year.
Adam Haynes, 48, and Pamela McNeal, 58, both of Verona, were charged with criminal homicide, neglect of a care dependent person and other charges Wednesday after the Allegheny County medical examiner ruled 54-year-old David Fuhrman’s death a homicide.
The married couple had cared for Fuhrman since his caregiver died about 15 years ago. Fuhrman had the mentality of a young child, police said.
Online court records don’t list attorneys for the couple. They’re jailed without bond, which is generally unavailable for people charged with criminal homicide in Pennsylvania.
Fuhrman was found dead Nov. 24, 2015, after Haynes called 911. He was suffering from bed sores and malnourishment. The medical examiner determined Fuhrman died from a blood infection caused by the sores and pneumonia, but the examiner waited to determine whether the death was natural, accidental or a homicide while police continued to investigate.
“The actions of Pamela McNeal and Adam Haynes constitute a willful neglect that was the direct cause of death of David Fuhrman,” the criminal complaint said.
Homicide detectives recently interviewed the couple and were told by McNeal that they had “adopted” Fuhrman, though court records don’t support that claim, the complaint said.
When healthy, Fuhrman weighed about 140 pounds; he had worked at Goodwill Industries until his health declined last year. His health took a turn for the worse in May 2015, when Fuhrman became unable to eat solid food, the couple told police. By July 2015, Fuhrman wouldn’t get out of bed after the first of several severe bed sores developed, police said.
Haynes told police the couple increased care for him after Fuhrman lost his insurance coverage about a year before he died. It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of insurance Fuhrman had or why he lost it.
Haynes became emotionally distraught during the police interview and held out his wrists so detectives could handcuff and arrest him.
“He couldn’t bear to change Fuhrman’s diapers because of the extent of the bed sores,” police wrote.